Last Updated on June 19, 2023 by Georgie Smith
Just as low blood sugar affects humans, dogs and cats suffer just the same. Hypoglycemia is when a human or pet’s blood sugar drops to very low numbers. What are the causes, symptoms, as well as treatments available? Are there options for a glucose meter for cats and dogs? The answer is yes!
There are many different glucose meters on the market that check for low blood sugar. By having a meter on hand, you can help your pet keep the rise and fall at bay. Hypoglycemia, or what many refer to as low blood sugar, is a potentially life-threatening illness and situation for cats and dogs.
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Your dog and cat’s glucose or blood sugar is the primary source of their energy. As glucose levels drop below their regular numbers, the loss of energy and a decline in their ability to properly function happens. In cases that are severe, your pet could lose consciousness and even die.
While many people (some even Dr. s) believe Hypoglycemia is a disease, it does not fall into that category. It is, however, telling your body that something is wrong and that there is an underlying medical concern.
In this article, we will discuss the causes of hypoglycemia in cats and dogs as well the symptoms to stay on alert for from your pet. However, let’s take a look at why using a Pet-specific glucose monitor in the first place is a must.
Why Use A Pet-Specific Glucose Meter?
It may come as a total surprise that cats and dogs can suffer from diabetes just as humans do. And, just like humans, if pet owners do not maintain their animal’s low blood sugar; you can bet he or she will not live long. The management of hypoglycemia is similar. However, there are a few crucial differences.
Before you can manage low blood sugar, you must understand it. The best way to check hypoglycemia levels in cats and dogs is with a testing meter for diabetes. However, it is vital that you use a meter created for animals instead of humans.
The principal reason why you should only use a glucose meter that is for animals is due to calibration. The way the body distributes glucose in humans is much different from that of animals. There is a definite difference between the size of the red blood cells in the two.
It is vital that you have a Glucose Meter that is as exact as possible. In other words, if you use a monitor that is for humans to check your pets’ levels, the reading will not be right. If the reading is off for either, it could lead to injury and if left too long, death.
Meters for humans have a calibration for human plasma to provide the absolute most accurate numbers. That is due to 58 percent of glucose is in plasma while 42 percent in the red blood cells.
For cats, the level of glucose stored in the plasma is 93 percent and 87.5 percent for your little k-9 friend. As you can see, these numbers are substantially different between animals and humans.
The following are the Top 6 Best Glucose Meters for Dogs and Cats. In this article, we are starting off, in the beginning, revealing the leaders in Glucose Meters and Strips. Our goal is to help our readers choose wisely
Here Are The Best Sellers:
Zoetis AlphaTRAK 2 Blood Glucose Monitoring System Kit
This ZoetisTrak 2 Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit is simple to use and point on with results. The test requires a small blood sample and will deliver accurate results within seconds. The Zoetis kit is for cats and dogs so make certain no humans use it by mistake.
The AlphaTrak 2 will monitor your k9 or cat straight from the comfort of his or her home. The device you can keep at home is the same accurate device your Vet uses. When you buy the AlphaTrak, you get the following:
- Lancing device and (30) lancets
- AlphaTRAK 2 meters and (25) test strips
- Two user’s guides
- Carrying case
Buy On Amazon
AlphaTRAK 2 Blood Glucose Test Strips (50 Count)
The Glucose test will start when the strip has enough blood on to accurately detect. If the first bit does not register enough, then additional blood should be added. After you apply the blood, give the AlphTrek Blood Glucose Test strip a mere 60 seconds or less to produce precise numbers.
Just like with the product above, when you use this glucose test, you are using the same as Vets. The test strips that come in each Kit from AlphaTRAK work perfectly for both cats and dogs. The following are other perks:
- Easy to Use
- No Fabric
- Fifty (50) Test Strips in One Box
- Made in the USA Fifty (50) Test Strips in one Box
- Use the Device to Monitor Your Pet’s Blood Glucose
Buy On Amazon
Advocate PetTest Monitoring Glucose Levels – Diabetes Testing Tools
This PetTest Monitoring Glucose Level testing kit is a simple process for reading glucose levels in cats and dogs. This testing kit is an easy-to-use portable monitoring kit that monitors the validated and calibrated test result.
You can use this kit to test your pet no matter where you are. You will have the same accurate answer whether you are home or at your vet’s office. It is small enough that you can even take it to work if your pet works with you. There is no coding. Therefore, it ensures the accurate number on each test, every species, every time.
With one push of a button and you can change the mode from “dog” to Cat mode” just like that. Each option has a picture of a dog or cat in the display for visual confirmation of the method you need. Within five seconds, the results are there!
This PetTest product is the only meter for animals that offer a positive confirmation in a visual manner of the species. You will both see and store the test results in the memory as well as the average. You will also be able to store up to 400 test results revealing memory, date and time, and the species.
Buy from Amazon
AlphaTRAK 2 Blood Glucose Test Strips, 100 Count
AlphaTRAK 2 Veterinary Blood Glucose Test Strips is simple to use and accurate. Each strip only needs one small blood sample. You do not have to wait long to see the results as it shows the results in seconds.
The AlphaTRAK strips are specifically for cats and dogs. The sample area is at an angle making it easy to position the area on your dog or cat where the blood drop will be. The sample tab breaks the meniscus of the sample to aid in fast absorption.
For faster testing, it automatically turns the meter off and on. The strips work with the AlphaTRAK and the AlphaTRAK 2 meters.
To read and see more about the AlphaTRAK 2 and place your order today with the leading e-commerce globally, Amazon by clicking here:
Buy from Amazon
AlphaTRAK 2 Pet Blood Glucose test strips Dogs Cats diabetes 50ct
The AlphaTRAK Pet Blood Glucose strip is as the title states, for both cats and dogs. You get a 50-count box of easy-to-use glucose blood test strips.
Click below to place your order today:
Buy from Amazon
Test Buddy Pet Blood Glucose Meter Kit for Dogs and Cats for owners
The Test Buddy blood glucose meter has calibration for testing cats and dogs. Moreover, you get the result quickly within five seconds. The meter reaches high levels of precision and accuracy. The CERA-PET has an accuracy level that expands at 98.5 percent.
Other than being super accurate, it is extra convenient due to its small size and lightweight. With this package comes a carry case so that you can keep everything together without losing valuable pieces. The following are the items that you get with the blood monitor:
- Lancing Device
- Code Keys
- Test Strips
For more information as well as to ensure you buy from the most reputable e-commerce business, Amazon, Click here.
Buy from Amazon
So far, we have discussed to gather the most accurate results you must have a machine that the calibration is specifically for your dog or cat. By utilizing a human testing machine, the results could be much lower than what they indeed are.
To get a blood glucose reading, you first much have a blood sample. Using the lancets and a lancet device meant for humans is not the best answer for creating a sample for animals. A single-use lancing device that can prick through the skin of an animal is the beginning of gathering accurate glucose results in the blood.
That type of device is perfect for cats and dogs that tend to be a tough candidates to test and hard-to-reach areas. Depending on the size you have, they are easy to hide in your hand to help ease the experience for your pet.
When there is not enough insulin, the body’s cells become starved for their primary source of energy, which is glucose.”
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is what many consider a disease while others refer to it has a “condition.” No matter what you call it, it is a life changer once diagnosed. Diabetes affects the pancreas which is the small organ found close to the stomach and is a vital organ.
Two types of cells are significant in the pancreas. One of the groups produce enzymes that are necessary to have proper digestion. The second group, beta cells, provide the insulin hormone. It is the insulin that regulates levels of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream while controlling the delivery of the glucose to the bodies tissues.
To break that down in simple terms is, diabetes happens due to the pancreas failing to regulate the body’s blood sugar. The medical signs of Diabetes Mellitus relate to elevated concentrations of blood glucose. It is here that the body is unable to use glucose as its energy source.
The Clinical View of Diabetes. Why Do They Occur?
The top four key symptoms of uncomplicated diabetes are as the following:
- Increased Urination
- Increased Thirst
- Increased Appetite
- Weight Loss
Glucose is the necessary substance that gives much of the bodies energy. It Is the body’s cells that rely on and need that energy. However, the glucose must find a home in the cells of the cat or dog. Insulin works by attaching to the receptors that are on the surface of the cells that open “pores” inside the cell wall.
That lets glucose molecules leave the bloodstream to enter the interior of the cell. With no adequate quantity of insulin that “opens the door,” the glucose cannot get into the cells. Therefore, It then accumulates in the blood.
That sets in place the chain of events that lead to diabetes mellitus.
The Lack There Of…
When there is not enough insulin, the body’s cells become starved for their primary source of energy, which is glucose. As a response, the body begins to start the process of breaking down the storage of protein and fats which leads to weight loss.
The starvation hunger then increases causing the dog to eat more. When that happens, the result is weight loss in the animal that suffers from a famished appetite. Now the dog’s body attempts to eliminate excess glucose through urination.
Beings glucose entices water; it supports the loss of bodily fluids via the urine. That results in large amounts of urine. Due to the danger of dehydration, you will notice the dog drinking much more water.
To conserve the body’s glucose, the kidney’s fail to filter glucose from the bloodstream into the dog’s urine until there are excessive amounts. That means the dog with normal levels will not have any glucose in their urine.
A dog with diabetes, however, has excessive levels of glucose in the blood causing it to spill over in the urine. When the levels reach 180 mg/dl, the kidneys take over and send it off in urine. That is the reason why people and dogs that have diabetes have sugar in their urine when they have low levels of insulin.
How To Treat Diabetes In Dogs And Are Treatments Expensive?
K-9’s with diabetes typically require two injections of insulin each day. The owner will also have to see to it that nutrition is a vital piece of diabetes management. Diabetic dogs must remain fed the same amount of the same food every day.
Although your dog can last a day or two without insulin and it not be a crisis, this is not something that should happen very often. You need to look at your dog’s treatment plan as part of the daily routine. That means that you, the owner, must commit both personally and financially to take proper of the dog.
If you are going to be away for a vacation or work related, the dog will need proper treatment while you are away. Once he or she is regulated, the maintenance and treatment cost level out once more. Having a special diet, syringes, and insulin is not very expensive.
The bad news is, in the beginning, you will have a financial obligation that may be significant throughout the beginning regulations or if there are complications. 
Once canine diabetes is under control; your dog’s prognosis is positive when proper treatment and monitoring has been consistent. Dog’s that have controlled diabetes typically live a healthy quality of life with symptoms rarely appearing.
Monitoring your Cat’s and Dog’s Glucose Level
If you got this far reading this article, then, you know that Keeping a close eye on your pet’s glucose level is vital. There are two ways you can do this, these are:
- Check your animal’s urine for any signs of ketones and glucose. Ketone is a chemical the body produces when it burns stored fat for energy. That is not the most accurate way to measure glucose in the blood. However, it is simple to do and its done at home.
- Lab work is always an excellent way to search for most anything with cats and dogs. That includes the level of glucose. Drawing blood to test the levels can be by your vet or at home with a glucometer and blood test strips.
If you see that your pet has either lost or gained weight, talk it over with your vet on how it may affect the treatment of diabetes.
How to Monitor Ketones and Glucose in your Dog or Cat
Once your vet gives the diagnosis, you will need to check the urine glucose a few times each day.
- Check the first level early in the morning, just before it is time for the injection and your dog’s first meal.
- Late in the afternoon but before the second meal.
- Late in the evening
- Early in the morning before your cat’s injection.
- Late in the afternoon before the second injection.
- Late in the evening
Dog, Cat, and Human Monitoring are Not the Same
The theory behind why it is not safe to use a human glucose meter is pretty simple. Human meters will not give an accurate glucose reading for dog and cats because of the levels of distribution in the blood of animals and humans.
- Cats: 93 percent of glucose is in plasma with 42 percent of the glucose in the red blood cells.
- Dogs: 87.5 percent of glucose is in plasma and 42 percent in red blood cells
- Humans: 58 percent is in plasma with 42 percent of glucose in red blood cells.
As can see by these numbers, the distribution of the glucose in the blood of humans and animals is nowhere close. You can also see that there is an apparent variation between the size of the cells between animals and humans.
Q: If it is an emergency, will it be okay if I use my human meter on my sick cat?
A: You can use any monitor just keep in mind, one for cats are different from the ones available for humans. You need to get an exact number before you decide on giving your cat glucose and you will not get that with a human meter.
Q: Can kittens have diabetes?
A: Yes. Your kitten can have diabetes when it is born. It is harder to detect at such a young age, however.
Humans can tell when they do not feel right or that they may be having an issue with their diabetes. Animals, however, you have to rely on their behavior which is difficult most often. To get accurate glucose readings for your dogs and cats you need to use a meter just for your pet.
Remember, if you use a human meter for measuring your pets levels, you are putting their lives at risk. The readout could be too high or too low which will prompt more or less glucose than necessary. Order the right kit today to monitor and give the proper dosage of glucose to keep your pet alive and healthy.
We hope this article provided you with much more knowledge on diabetes and animals. To keep your pet healthy, products such as the ones listed above are essential to have on hand at all times. While you are here on our page, please “like” and share it on your social media platforms.
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